International Community Must Protect Pregnant Rohingya Refugees
Bloomberg: Pregnant Rohingya Refugees Are in Desperate Need
Andrew Gilmour, assistant secretary general for human rights at the U.N., and Pramila Patten, special representative of the U.N. secretary general on sexual violence in conflict
“…The estimated 700,000 Rohingya refugees driven into Bangladesh by Burmese security forces last fall, in what the United Nations and others have said appears to be a textbook case of ethnic cleansing, have suffered a host of traumas. … We believe that there are at least 40,000 pregnancies among Rohingya refugee women and children; the Bangladesh Health Ministry estimated double that number in December 2017. Rape is the likely cause of many of those pregnancies. … Partly due to limited funding and burdensome administrative requirements, victims have little to no access to health care services in the camps. … Certainly, the long-term challenges facing Rohingya rape victims are daunting. … But the first priority must be to save lives, which means moving these expectant mothers to sites less vulnerable to the oncoming rains. They cannot be cared for where they are. And the international community cannot allow them to be victimized a second time” (5/9).